It’s been a couple of months since I heard about “MOOC”s. The word seemed Nerdy, so I googled it and the summary of my findings was:
A massive open online course, and MOOC (/muːk/) for short, is an online course which aimed at providing education for various groups of people through online courses. The online courses have been offered by universities and institutes. The most significant difference between MOOCs and classic online courses is openness. MOOCs are open environments with free access. In addition, MOOCs support massive participation while online courses let a limited number of educators to participate.
In MOOC, students participate in the course through the use of forums. Of course, online courses provide forums, but these forums are formal. In other words, participants debate in formal forums, while people in MOOC’s forums socialize.
Students in MOOCs are from different countries, different cultures and with different levels of knowledge. They can decide where, when and what they intended to learn.
After all, I was tempted to take a course. I searched for a MOOC platform ad I found Courseraand my choice among all provided courses was “Mining Massive Dataset“, an appreciated course, the one that I WILL introduce.
In summary, the course was appreciated. The teaching team were highly ranked professors of The Stanford University. A book authored by a teaching team was selected as the main course material and it was freely available. The MOOC had five series of assignments, one per each chapter of the book, as well as one midterm and a final.
The interesting part of taking the course was forum discussions, I made lots of friends from different countries. Some of them were data engineers and professionals in top-ranked data analysis companies and some of them were students at different universities. I could experience intra-continental academic relations. In addition, discussing about course topics helped me to learn how to verbalize my ideas and argue. Doing the course project inspired me to re-think about my dissertation problem and to reconsider my proposed solution.
Finally, I should conclude my post with a simple recommendation:
“Participate in Coursera MOOCs to experience a big change in your academic life!”